The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Hirfaen Gwyddog

Standing Stone / Menhir


I would therefore beg to call attention to what is perhaps the oldest stone in this island about which there is documentary evidence extending over thirteen centuries, and which is still standing in the identical spot where it was erected centuries earlier still.

[..] the Book of Chad [..] has the words behet hirmain guidauc = as far as the long stone of Gwyddog or Gwyddawg. Mr. Gwenogvryn Evans considers that this entry must have been made before A.D. 840..
There's also mention of the 'byrfaen' or short stone, also on the boundary of Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire and nearby. But this is supposed to be lying 'among a heap of debris, namely, in three pieces'.

WH Davey adds, 'My son has asked in the immediate neighbourhood about the stones, but could get no further particulars except that it is supposed that they are on the site of a battle which took place in that locality.'

However it seems that the short stone was never that short, because there's also a quote from Nicholson's 1813 'Cambrian Travellers' Guide, in which it was said to be '15 feet long and 4 in width and thickness'.

From 'A boundary stone with a good record' in Illustrated Archaeologist v1 (1893).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th April 2011ce

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